All agreements to import foreign workers to be reviewed

Kulasegaran says the ministry has no plan to raise wages.

KUALA LUMPUR: All agreements to bring in foreign migrant workers will be reviewed, including a 2016 deal to employ 1.5 million Bangladeshis, Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran said today.

He said the agreement to employ the Bangladeshi workers over a three-year period was made by the former Barisan Nasional government.

The deal with Dhaka was signed between former human resources minister Richard Riot and Bangladesh expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment minister Nurul Islam.

Referring to concerns over the reluctance of local workers to take jobs usually done by migrant workers due to low wages, Kulasegaran said the ministry had no plan to raise wages.

He said the priority of the Pakatan Harapan government was to reduce the national debt which stood at RM1 trillion or 65% of the gross domestic product (GDP).

“No country should owe this much money. That’s why one of the first things we did was to cut ministers’ salary.

“I don’t think anywhere in the world, when you take up a job, the first thing they tell you is to cut your salary,” he said during a press conference at Wisma Perkeso.

Kulasegaran said foreign workers already in the country would not be asked to leave.

“We will review the incoming ones. Our priority should always be our workers. If you look at Australia, there are not as many foreign workers compared to Malaysia. Why is Malaysia so special?” he said.